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Empower Local Businesses to Strengthen Local Economies
November 2011

Success Tips from Advocate Michelle Long

Michelle_LongMichelle Long is the executive director of the Bellingham, Washington-based Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE). The fast-growing network aims to empower local businesses with their financial goals while they actively contribute to healthier communities and a cleaner environment. Their triple bottom line is people, the planet and profit.

BALLE represents 22,000 independent businesses in 30 states and Canadian provinces. By serving as an information clearinghouse and support center, BALLE is proving that no business is too small to make a difference.

Why is it important to foster local economies?

Locally based activity is where we are seeing real prosperity. Today, as we face economic, community and ecological crises, we see bright spots where local businesses are working together to build strong, healthy local economies.

How can local businesses positively affect their  communities  and the environment?

There is a natural accountability when business owners live with the impacts of their decisions, instead of from hundreds or thousands of miles away. Local supply chains also reduce carbon impacts by decreasing transport time.

 
sOccket to Me
November 2011

A Powerful Plaything

Soccer_BallTwo Harvard undergraduate students, Julia Silverman and Jessica Matthews, have come up with a way to harness the kinetic energy of a moving soccer ball and store it as electric current in a battery inside the ball. The invention, called sOccket, collects enough energy in 15 minutes of play to power a typical LED lamp for three hours. The device sports its own power outlet to retrieve the juice inside. Today’s sOccket is designed to last for a year or longer; researchers are studying its larger potential.


Source: CleanTechnica.com

 
Green Greetings
November 2011

The Medium is the Message with Holiday Cards

Greeting_CardEven with the advent of email, texting, smart phones and animated web greetings, the traditional paper holiday greeting card, wishing recipients a “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Hanukkah” or simply “Happy Holidays,” still holds a place in our hearts as a way to send, receive, display and even file forever a treasured memento. RawPeople.com reports that 300,000 trees are consumed each year in the making of some 2 billion holiday cards, but appealing alternatives are coming to the rescue.

 
Happier and Healthier at Work
November 2011

A Way to Increase Productivity on the Job

ProductivityA UK study from the University of Exeter confirms good news: Employees that have a say in the design and layout of their workspace are happier and healthier. But that’s not all—they also become up to 32 percent more productive.

 
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